At this point if you don’t like Joanna Newsom, I can’t help you. Her writing is unparalleled, her sound is hers and hers alone, and she’s one hell of a musician. The atypical voice is central to all indie, whether it’s Stephen Malkmus’ lazy slurring to Isaac Brock’s gravelly yelping. We put up and celebrate so many odd voices in this genre there’s no reason the lilting strangeness of Joanna Newsom should put anyone off in 2015. We’ve moved past that as a society! The courts have ruled!
In this Paul Thomas Anderson-directed video, Joanna skips through New York City singing her new song. That’s really all there is to it, but it’s an effective album announcement, it fits her aesthetic and there’s one almost revelatory climax with a well-timed fire engine. Just imagining the lyric sheet to “Sapokanikan” looks like a novel, but it rewards close listeners with writerly gems.
Her love songs are also great because it’s funny to imagine that they’re about Andy Samberg.
Divers is the new album and it’s out October 23 via Drag City.